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Balandra Beach Gets Reopening Date: What Travelers Need To Know

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Balandra beach is finally going to be reopened after the shipwreck incident a couple of months back that caused an oil spill and the subsequent closure of the beach. The official reopening date for the area, which is considered by some one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is set for October 28th. 

Balandra Beach Bird's Eye View

Although local service providers and owners of nearby lodging facilities had been pushing for the reopening to take place even sooner, the decision has stirred up some controversy. Particularly because, according to both local authorities and environmentalist groups, the beach isn’t 100% clean. Authorities are looking to place limits on the number of people that will be able to visit the beach per day in order to continue the cleanup efforts while still allowing tourists to enjoy the beach. 

Large Smoke Cloud Coming From Burning Boat

New Operating Hours & Regulations For Balandra Beach 

The new operating hours for Balandra beach will be split up into blocks, one being the morning block and the other being the afternoon block. Essentially travelers will have to choose which block they want to be a part of. Since there’s going to be a strict 400-person limit on the beach per block, tourists who want to visit Balandra beach better find their way to the area early in the day or arrive as the morning block is ending to get a chance to be one of the 400 people who will enjoy the beach that afternoon. 

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Tourists on Balandra beach

The morning block hours run from 8 am to 2 pm local time. Meanwhile, the afternoon block is set to run from 2:30 pm to 6:30 or 7 pm. Depending on the closing hour that authorities dictate on that particular day. It’s essentially implied that all of the people who are on the beach when the block ends will be asked to leave the area.  

tousits on beach

Another thing that foreign tourists are going to need to keep in mind is that the 400-person limit per block or 800-person limit per day is kind of subjective. The idea that the local authorities have is to reserve at least 100 spots per day for locals. That means that foreign tourists are going to have fewer spots that they’ll be able to essentially apply for. 

Police Talking To Tourists

On top of that, local authorities want to institute a regulation that will essentially close off the beach on the first Sunday of each month. On that Sunday, only locals are going to be able to access the beach. The commissioner of Conanp, the federal government agency that is overseeing the cleanup at Balandra beach, explained the new operating hours and occupancy limit along with the “Locals Sunday” initiative in the recent press conference in which he announced the reopening of Balandra beach

Balandra Beach on a slow day

How Clean Is Balandra Beach At This Point? 

As previously stated, environmentalist groups have criticized the decision to reopen the beach on the grounds that the beach is not yet clean enough to be used by tourists. They argue that there are still fiberglass ship parts from the wreck winding on the shore on a regular basis. Conanp commissioner Humberto Adán Peña Fuentes essentially mentioned that the area was “clean enough” for reopening. 

oil spill beach
Photo: Undersecretary of Civil Protection BCS

In spite of this, cleaning and inspection brigades would continue working on the beach. Since the effects of the shipwreck, the subsequent oil spill, and the fire have to continue to be monitored. In fact, the reason why the new operating hours and capacity limits for the beach have been set is precisely to allow work to continue on the beach. These new regulations and operating hours are set to remain in place until the last day of the year. At that point, the situation will be reevaluated, and new regulations may be put in place.

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